Saddleback College will recognize its 1,275 graduates and 1,165 certificate of achievement recipients at its annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 24th at 9:00 a.m. in the gymnasium. The event will feature the traditional processional and reading of the graduates’ names, and will feature Dr. Michael V. Drake, chancellor of University of California, Irvine, who will serve as commencement speaker. The student speaker is Regina Shiroma, who is graduating Magna Cum Laude with an Associate in Arts degree in sign language.
Dr. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “Commencement is a special time at Saddleback College where we celebrate student completion and the accomplishments of our graduates. I am very proud of our students and the faculty, staff, and administrators who played an integral role in helping them reach their goals. Congratulations to the Class of 2013!”
During the ceremony, special recognition will be given to Professor of the Year Scott Fier (chemistry), Associate Professor of the Year Farida Gabdrakhmanova (interior design), and Emeritus Institute Professor of the Year Melinda Smith (fashion design).
Students participating in commencement are candidates for Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees and certificates of achievement. More than 2,000 students will also be transferring to four-year colleges and universities to continue studying for their baccalaureate degrees. Since 2007-08, there has been a 26% increase in total transfers, including a 30% increase in transfers to the UC system and a 23% increase to the CSU system. This year’s graduates will be transferring to four-year institutions such as USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton, San Diego State University, and Arizona State University, among others.
South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees President Nancy Padberg will lead the conferral of degrees along with Trustees William O. Jay, Timothy Jemal, David B. Lang, Marcia Milchiker, and James R. Wright, and T.J. Prendergast, and South Orange County Community College District Chancellor Gary Poertner.
Of the students who are graduating from Saddleback College this year, 328 (26%) are receiving honors, including 14 summa cum laude (4.0 grade point average), 118 magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.99 grade point average) and 196 cum laude (3.5 to 3.74 grade point average). Showing the diverse range of ages at the college, the youngest graduate is 18 years of age, and the most senior graduate is 67 years of age. Ninety-two graduates are under the age of 20 and 73 graduates are over the age of 55.